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Implementing the White Paper

Initiatives to Improve Capability

Land Forces Goal

The primary land forces goal remains the provision of land forces that can respond swiftly and effectively to any credible armed incursion on Australian territory and provide forces for more likely types of operations in our immediate region.

In 2003-04, Defence's ability to achieve this goal was enhanced by a range of activities, including:

  • the Government's approval and United States Government endorsement of the letter of acceptance for the acquisition of M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks;
  • continuing development of the Special Forces capability primarily at Holsworthy Barracks, with the expansion of the special operations headquarters, the ongoing development of the second Tactical Assault Group and Incident Response Regiment and high readiness Reserve elements to bolster the ADF's anti-terrorist capability, the Government's approval for new training facilities for Australia's counter-terrorism forces, and the ongoing establishment of a special operations service support company;
  • the Government's approval for the construction of new weapons training facilities to enhance marksmanship training and weapon handling;
  • the completion of new Army training facilities at Lavarack Barracks, Townsville, Queensland and the opening of the new training simulation centre at Robertson Barracks, Darwin, Northern Territory;
  • the ongoing production of the Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters;
  • completion of reliability testing of the Bushmaster infantry mobility vehicle and capability testing of the upgraded M-113 armoured personnel carrier demonstration vehicle; and
  • contract signature for the delivery of additional Javelin direct fire guided weapons and for the delivery of an enhanced modular bridging capability to increase the ADF's battlefield mobility.

Ground surveillance radars and unattended ground sensors were not accepted into service as anticipated due to equipment failure during testing processes. Progressing the acquisition of self-protection equipment for ADF helicopters and C-130 aircraft has been delayed.

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Air Combat Goal

The primary air combat goal remains the protection of Australia from air attack, and control of its air approaches to ensure that the ADF can operate effectively against any hostile forces approaching Australia.

In 2003-04, Defence's ability to achieve this goal was enhanced by a range of activities, including:

  • integration of upgraded radars in the F/A­18 Hornets;
  • the Government's approval for structural refurbishment and electronic warfare self-protection systems for the F/A-18 Hornets;
  • the Government's approval for the acquisition of an additional two airborne early warning and control aircraft;
  • selection of the A330T as the new tanker;
  • selection of the contractor for new enhanced F/A-18 Hornet simulators;
  • final acceptance for the longer-range advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles introduced in 2001; and
  • upgrading a range of facilities in accordance with plans.

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Maritime Forces Goal

The primary maritime forces goal remains the maintenance of an assured capability to detect, deter and repel any maritime forces that pose a threat to our extended maritime approaches.

In 2003-04, Defence's ability to achieve this goal was enhanced by a range of activities, including:

  • launch of the tenth and final Anzac-class frigate, NUSHIP Perth and delivery of the eighth frigate, HMAS Ballarat;
  • acquisition of a new oil tanker to replace HMAS Westralia through the purchase of the environmentally compliant commercial tanker, MT Delos, for subsequent conversion;
  • the Government's approval for upgrades to the anti-ship missile defences of the Anzac-class frigates and for the acquisition of new lightweight torpedoes to enhance the ADF's anti-submarine warfare capability;
  • commencement of a risk reduction study into procurement of two large amphibious ships to replace HMAS Tobruk and one of the two amphibious landing ships;
  • 'operational release' and delivery of additional Evolved SeaSparrow surface-to-air missiles;
  • selection of designers to develop concept ship designs for Australia's new air warfare destroyers;
  • contract signature and initiation of the Armidale-class patrol boat production;
  • continuation of the P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft upgrade program, with the final batch to enter service in 2004-05;
  • the continuation of the guided missile frigate upgrade program;
  • contract signature for a 15-year through-life support contract for the Collins-class submarines, including a continuous improvement program to maintain its capabilities and through-life supportability;
  • construction of the wharf and ammunition storage facility at Eden, New South Wales, to provide for naval ammunitioning; and
  • ongoing redevelopment of facilities at HMAS Albatross into 2005-06.

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Strike Goal

The strike goal remains the ability to attack targets within a wide radius of Australia. This could include attacks against credible levels of air defences or interdiction of maritime or land-based threats, including terrorist activities. The ADF will retain its strike capability as the F-111s withdraw from service by around 2010, by upgrading the F/A-18 Hornets and P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft, integrating stand-off weapons on these aircraft, satellite-guided weapons on the F/A-18 Hornets, and acquiring airborne early warning and control and air-to air refuelling aircraft.

The Army continues to maintain its land based strike capability resident in Special Operations Command, specifically in the Special Air Service Regiment and 4th Battalion (Commando). The land based strike capability has seen continual enhancements with the ongoing development of 4th Battalion (Commando) and enhancements to air and maritime insertion techniques.

In 2003-04, Defence's ability to achieve this goal was enhanced by a range of activities, including:

  • the Government's approval for the acquisition of suitable weapons systems to enable the F/A-18 Hornets to conduct all-weather precision bombing operations, for guidance kits to improve the accuracy of the ADF's current inventory of general purpose bombs and for upgrades to the Harpoon anti-ship missile;
  • the Government's approval for the follow-on stand-off weapons solicitation and evaluation, including integration technical definition activities for the F/A-18 Hornet and P-3 Orion aircraft;
  • Australian firms receiving contracts for the systems development and design phase of the Joint Strike Fighter project; and
  • a range of enhancements to the Special Forces capability (see the Land Forces Goal).

The upgrade of the engineering works at RAAF Amberley, Ipswich, Queensland, has been deferred to more closely align with other facilities projects.

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Information Goal

The information goal remains the positioning of the ADF to harness advances in information technology to ensure that the ADF has timely, accurate and secure information to fully exploit individual and unit combat capabilities and allow their employment in more flexible ways.

In 2003-04, Defence's ability to achieve this goal was enhanced by a range of activities, including:

  • enhancing specialist intelligence collection and analysis systems;
  • awarding the contract for an air defence command and control system;
  • deploying a surface wave radar in northern Australia for evaluation;
  • modernisation of Defence's high-frequency communications system;
  • construction of the Defence Network Operations Centre at HMAS Harman, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory;
  • a proposal for further enhancements of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network; and
  • a proposal for the acquisition of force-level electronic warfare systems.

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People Goal

The people goal is to ensure that Defence has the right ADF and civilian personnel with the right skills and experience to provide the capabilities we need to undertake complex military operations.

In 2003-04, Defence's ability to achieve this goal, and to improve ADF health and wellbeing, was enhanced by a range of activities, including:

  • significant progress in implementing the recommendations of the Defence Strategic Workforce Planning Review, including the completion of a comprehensive Defence workforce plan that addresses workforce shortfalls in critical employment categories;
  • retention of military personnel has been addressed through development of models to assess the costs of replacing personnel and assist better targeting and retention measures;
  • as key retention measures, improvements to accommodation for single members and a program to assist spouses of ADF members to gain employment;
  • introduction of a new military compensation scheme, administered by the Department of Veterans' Affairs, to provide treatment and compensation for ADF members who suffer mental or physical injury or contract a disease as a result of service on or after 1 July 2004;
  • development and implementation of a whole-of-Defence strategic occupational health and safety plan which addresses a number of important occupational health and safety issues and provides a staged approach to managing and implementing change;
  • the endorsement of the ADF Workplace Remuneration Arrangement 2004-06, the ADF Star Ranks Remuneration Arrangement 2004-06 and the Defence Employees Certified Agreement 2004-06, and implementation of remuneration initiatives and recommendations following the Government's agreement to the recommendations from the 2001 ADF Review of Remuneration (the Nunn Review);
  • the continued targeted approach to education and training, with the launch of the first phase of e-learning implementation and commencing the implementation of the Business Skilling Review;
  • the opening of the Centre for Military and Veterans' Health, a joint partnership between the ADF, the Department of Veterans' Affairs and the University of Queensland, to improve the quality of health care delivered to the ADF by providing a centre of excellence in military health research;
  • through the Cadet Enhancement Program, improving the standard of accommodation, encouraging the development of cadet leadership and team building skills, trialling the Indigenous Participation Program, commencing delivery of ethical behaviour training and enabling the release of the ADF Cadets Occupational Health and Safety Policy Manual and website.

The 2003-04 Budget also continued the Government's White Paper commitment to allocate $100m per year for high-priority personnel initiatives totalling $500m over five years. Details are shown in Chapter Five - Performance against People Matter Priorities for 2003-04.

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